How not to succeed in beading……

All this talk of tape measures reminded me that I haven’t actually made one of my Baroque Tape measures since I released the pattern. So rather than finishing some more materials packs so other people could make them, I had a go myself. I’ve been wanting to do a more multicoloured version for ages, something a bit huicholly.  So I pulled some beads, got the pattern up on the iPad, and started beading.  It did not go well.
Changing colours this often just doesn’t work with this design – you loose the shapes formed between beads and by the beads themselves.


And even worse, I started the netting out of the wrong row of the peyote bezel, meaning the rivoli sticks out way too far, so all in all not good.  Below you can see the ‘wrong’ version next to my later correct version – the rivoli bezel now forms part of the netted surround, rather than the surround looking like it’s been tacked on.



So that version was abandoned, I took an evening  off to make those Materials Packs, and then I tried again.  This time I paid more attention to my own instructions, thus avoiding the bezel error, and I changed seed bead colours only every two or three steps, rather than every step as before.  And hopefully you will agree that this looks much better.


There were still a few things I’d forgotten since I’d done the original design:

Firstly, back then I didn’t use Fireline.  Now I do, and it does noticeably alter my tension (to the extent that I’m actually thinking of stopping using it).  This was worsened when I lost the reel I’d been using (small people move stuff), and grabbed another reel which turned out to be one of the faulty ones from a while back.  So lesson learned – netting suits a thread with a bit of give, like the lovely Miyuki threads, and in addition, using  a poor quality thread will slow you down and make a good finish all the more difficult.  So use the best you can, all of the time.  Throw the rest away so you won’t use it by mistake.

Secondly, I should have used a coloured thread that matched the tape measure – that way you can relax your tension without worrying about gaps between the beads exposing the thread, and the pattern will still work fine but be much more pleasurable to bead.  Honestly, it’s all basic stuff………………

Thirdly, I ignored my own instructions to stop adding the firepolished beads when you get to the tape hole – I worked around it (just as I did in the early prototypes, before I worked out how to cope with the hole properly), but I’m annoyed with myself as it’s just not as good.  Read the instructions woman!

Finally, I had a go at working with a messier bead tray – all my beads muddled up together instead of carefully kept in separate piles.  This was partly because I’ve read a few articles recently discussing how different headers like to work, so I thought I’d try the mixed up way, and partly because unpicking the failed first side left me with muddled up beads anyway.  This was not a good move – it drive me completely crazy, I hated not being able to just pick up the bead I needed, and as I had multiple sizes of the same colour out it led to mistakes.  I am quite confident that it would have been quicker to re-sort the beads into piles first, as it really slowed me down.  Never again.


I still need to add a beaded bead of some sort for the pull tab, so I’ll have a delve around my stash of previous work and interesting beads (I’m sure I have a red tea pot somewhere – not very Mexican but fun anyway).  But it has been a very useful learning experience going back to it, and I have another one planned as a Christmas gift now (which will hopefully be a bit better).



Author: theindecisivebeader

Blogging from the outskirts of London about beadweaving and life in general.

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